Saturday, April 16, 2005


Dawkins Declines

Kansas Citizens for Science has posted responses from scientists to requests from the Kansas Board of Education to participate in its planned evolution show trial in May. Here are excerpts from some of their responses:

Richard Dawkins:
Thank you for your invitation to testify before the Kansas State Board of Education. Unfortunately I cannot attend, as I shall be busy debating the Flat Earth Society.I am sorry to be facetious but, as I am sure you are aware, the State of Kansas has made itself the laughing stock of the scientific world over this issue. The very idea of "representatives from both views" presupposes that there are two views to represent. In many fields of science there is indeed genuine controversy, and science thrives on genuine controversy. In the case of evolution, however, the only opposition comes from right outside science, and from people wholly ignorant of science. For real scientists to share a platform with the biological equivalent of flat-earthers would be to give them the credibility, respectability, and above all publicity that they crave.I am sorry, but count me out.

Denis Lamoureux, a PhD Scientist and Theologian
Pursuant to our phone conversation yesterday, this letter is to confirm my withdrawal from participation in the KSBE hearings this May "regarding the mainstream scientific view of the nature of science."As you will recall, I accepted your invitation the day it was offered (7 Apr 05) and wrote that I was delighted and honored"...
I have always enjoyed American hospitality. In particular, I have always appreciated the belief in fairness that the men and women in your country embrace. However, I feel that I was set up. In fact, I sense that I was going to be used in an injudicious and manipulative fashion. I am more than disappointed. It is now clear to me why scientists in the State of Kansas do not want to participate in these hearings. The KSBE has not organized these proceedings in a fair way. It has skewed the subcommittee to favor the "minority" view. Bluntly stated, this is professionally and ethically not acceptable. As a born-again Christian, I am an optimist. I trust that men and women of good Faith will contribute in the Lord's will being done in this matter. Should KSBE arrange fair hearings in future, I would be delighted and honored to participate.

Scott Brande, Ph.D.
I understand that at the January meeting of the Board, each of the motions made by representatives of the IDN (Intelligent Design Network) was discussed and defeated.I also understand that in response to these defeats, the IDN has proposed a more generalized discussion on views of the nature of science expressed by both representatives of the "mainstream" (i.e., scientific majority) as well as representatives of the IDN or other like-minded proponents of non-scientific views (i.e., intelligent design), especially as these views relate to the NCLB Act (No Child Left Behind) conference committee statement you quoted below.That the Board would order such a public discussion is especially odd for the following reasons.1) Viewpoints on the nature of science expressed by the IDN were made perfectly clear in their objections to the draft science curriculum standards.2) These views were defeated in formal motions.Further discussions of such views would appear to have a purpose for no reason other than trying to once again inject such viewpoints into the science curriculum, when in fact such views have already been rejected.This could be interpreted as unAmerican - the IDN gave its best shot, and the shot fell far short of the target. The IDN seems not to want to play by the rules (specifically Robert's Rules of Order). The controversial discussion ought now to be closed, and the Board should proceed with the adoption of the draft science standards without further interference by the IDN or its supporters.

To read the scientist's full responses go to KCFS.


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